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Chelsea keeper Kepa Arrizabalaga talks almost joining Bayern Munich before Real Madrid move

Thomas Tuchel gave him a call, and the two nearly renewed acquaintances.

Real Madrid CF v Getafe CF - LaLiga EA Sports Photo by Diego Souto/Quality Sport Images/Getty Images

Bayern Munich’s frenetic transfer deadline day scramble for both a defensive midfielder and a new defender was a change of pace from a slightly earlier drama at a different position: goalkeeper.

Before settling on Maccabi Tel Aviv man Daniel Peretz, the Bavarians were being linked to a frenzy of keeper targets past and present. Including, notably, one from manager Thomas Tuchel’s past — then-Chelsea FC keeper Kepa Arrizabalaga.

“Thomas Tuchel called me. I was close to going to Munich,” the soon-to-be 29-year-old Spaniard revealed for Marca (as captured by @iMiaSanMia). “When a coach that didn’t play you much says he wants you in his team, that gives you a good feeling. But due to circumstances such as the injury, unfortunately, of a colleague (Thibault Courtois), the possibility to play for Real Madrid arose. In the end, Real Madrid is Real Madrid. When Real Madrid calls you, you don’t have to think twice.”

While Bayern’s Manuel Neuer is also injured, the German international is much closer to on his way to returning — which influenced Bayern’s final decision to settle on a developmental prospect instead of a seasoned stopgap. Courtois, who recently endured an ACL tear, will be out for much longer. And Kepa will have the chance to showcase his talents in his native Spain.

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